After two years of testing and development, the OpenBazaar developer team has announced today the first live version of their decentralized bitcoin-powered marketplace. OpenBazaar is the world’s first P2P marketplace that doesn’t charge fees, or have any centralized management/control.
In the press release, lead developer Brian Hoffman explained that the the idea of “free trade” was the main driver of the OpenBazaar project, “Starting today, anyone in the world with access to an Internet connection can use Bitcoin and OpenBazaar to exchange goods and services freely. We can’t wait to see how people will use this tool.” said Hoffman.
Unlike eBay and Amazon – where certain products and services are restricted and users are subject to lengthy terms & conditions agreements – OpenBazaar users are free to buy and sell as they please.
The OpenBazzar testnet version was initialy launched at the beginning of March and was downloaded by more than 25,000 users.
In June of 2015, the OpenBazzar project received $1 million in seed funding from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and angel investor William Mougayar. Prior to the big cash infusion in 2015, project development was sidetracked by the sheer technical complexity and inadequate resources.
According to the official release, the developer team will be releasing multiple updates over the next several months:
“The company, named ‘OB1’, will continue releasing improved versions of the software over the coming months, and will begin offering services to users on the network.”
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